By Pam Perry

Social media is a fact of life—nearly 260 million U.S. citizens regularly use the Web…. with more than 50% of the 500 million people on Facebook logging in daily. Most grocery stores, coffee shops and restaurants are on Facebook and Twitter; and almost every kid has a YouTube account—and is making videos to share with the world.

What about your church or ministry? If you\’re a pas- tor, author or artist, you should have a Facebook page! If you\’re skeptical about the investment of time and effort in this new marketing method, consider the potential qualitative returns on this investment (ROI) for your ministry.

How can social media improve and propel your ministry and mission?
1. RELEVANCE. A consistent social media strategy will keep your ministry current and on the cutting edge. Variety will add spice as you share the messages of your ministry in forms such as blogs, video and podcasts.

2. NETWORKING. Social media is really all about networking and connecting. The power is in the real-time feedback you can get from sites like Facebook and Twitter. Some- one can post a prayer request and instantly receive response. Social networks also can help your ministry make global impact.

3. EVANGELISM. Spread the Word to hundreds, thousands or more at the click of a button– and it\’s free. Post Scriptures, videos, Christian songs, inspiring photos or give links to your website. Consistency is the key!

4. UNITY. Your Facebook and Twitter accounts have innumerable benefits! You can quickly communicate with/mobilize your members; you can also foster a strong team spirit (especially with young people) by engaging people where they “hang out” everyday; and, it\’s a great way to keep in touch with members. Social media also allows you to collaborate with other ministries; and market events virally.

5. COST-EFFECTIVENESS. Minimize your expenditures and manpower, and reach more people than ever! Connect. Touch lives. Tweet, Facebook and inspire people. God uses everything – and social media may be the tool He uses to extend your reach.